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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - April 02, 2013

From: Laredo, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Trees
Title: Is oak leucanium an invasive species in Texas from Laredo TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Is Parthenolecanium quercifex considered an invasive species in Texas? Does this insect attach itself to redbuds? I spotted and removed from my small 5ft Texas Redbud last year. It seems that it has affected it this spring with no blooms, no leaves on the main top part of tree. Is there anything I can do to save my tree?

ANSWER:

We have to be honest, we are gardeners, not entomologists, and we never heard of this before, but we will see what we can find out.

On the website Invasive.org, we found this statement:

On that website, we found this page on Parthenolecanium quercifex. It was referred to on that page as "oak lecanium." So, we searched for something by that name and got this site: Biocyclopedia Oak lecanium scale. According to this article, is mostly a problem on oaks; thus the name. From that article: "Other reported hosts include other oak species, sycamore, pecan, chestnut, birch, persimmon, and pricklyash."

In answer to your question: Is this bug invasive? Of course, it is. Is that what's causing problems on your Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud)? We didn't find it mentioned in any of our research. This USDA Plant Profile Map does not show Texas redbud growing in Webb County, so there might be an environmental problem.

Since we are not entomologists, we suggest you contact the Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension Office for Webb County. If something is going on with that bug in your area, they should know about it.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas redbud
Cercis canadensis var. texensis

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